Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This mother gator and about ten babies were sunning immediately adjacent to the elevated dike trail that snakes through Payne's Prairie from the Alachua Sink.
While I was photographing her, a helpful park volunteer drove up on his golfcartysorta thing, and said, "Watch her, she's grumpy."
I appreciated the tip, but I was very aware that it would be a bad idea to slipslide down the dike slope into her protective mother zone. I was really, really aware of this because about 100 yards earlier down the dike, I had stepped on a pile of cut dry dog fennel stalks and almost skated down to another gator I was attempting to photograph.
It was like standing on marbles on a hill ...
...with a gator at the bottom.
Let's just say it woke me up and I was being extra careful.
The gator babies were doing what babies do, eating, sleeping, exploring.
Mom's tail is a great place for safely basking in the sun.